Firm to aid prison land sale

PRISON chiefs have appointed a commercial property firm to help to market surplus land around Saughton prison.

The Scottish Prison Service has hired city consultants Ryden as part of plans to sell off nearly 20 acres it no longer needs. The move would potentially make way for hundreds of new homes.

As the Evening News revealed last year, the sale would allow it to make millions of pounds and free it from the burden of having to maintain the land. The service faces a budget cut of 22 per cent for 2011/12.

At the time, industry sources said the sale could bring the service between £600,000 and £1 million per acre, although there are likely to be significant additional costs that come with undeveloped land.

Ryden will provide planning and marketing advice.

Prison chiefs are also considering selling off land around HMP Noranside in Angus.